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Time Management Module

  2. TIME MANAGEMENT IS A PROCESS • Time management is the act or process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity. • Time management may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals.
  3. THE IMPORTANCE OF TIME MANAGEMENT • It should go without saying as LIS professionals that it is particularly important to manage our time well. It seems to be the nature of the profession that there is always something to get done, always some item on the to-do list. When we add all of those work related tasks to the busy social and family lives we lead, we often find ourselves completely burned out. On top of exhaustion, we might find ourselves unhappy or unfulfilled because our cramped schedule doesn’t allow for enough relaxation or family time.
  4. BENEFITS OF TIME MANAGEMENT • Increased productivity • Less stress • Improved self-esteem • Good work-life balance • Prevention of panic in times of workload • Increased confidence of fulfilling tasks • Achievement of goals quickly and easily • Increased efficiency in fulfilling tasks • Achievement of greater success, dreams and visions • Increased energy and competency to achieve success
  6. Unclear objectives – It’s hard to hit a target with your eyes closed, and it’s just as hard to accomplish something when you aren’t exactly clear about what you want to achieve Disorganization – It’s easy to see when your desk is too messy, but sometimes you have to step back and ask yourself if you are taking an organized approach in completing all of your tasks
  7. Inability to say “no” – We all want to be as helpful as we can when others need us, but this can mean taking time away from other priorities to do something we may not have planned Interruptions – Many times we are in the middle of accomplishing something really important and the telephone rings. These calls can not only take you away from your task, but sometimes they interrupt your train of thought and you can’t return to where you were without retracing your steps
  8. More interruptions – We all like to visit with others, but conversations at inappropriate times can cost us time when we have to stop what we are doing and redirect ourselves from our plans Periods of inactivity – As much as we think we are busy, there are times in our day when we are not really doing anything. Recognizing and making use of these times can have a positive effect on our efforts
  9. Too many things at once – Many of our tasks are not routines. They require concentration to detail. When we are attempting to do too many different things at one time, each individual task suffers as a result Stress and fatigue – Everyone experiences stress from time to time, and sometimes we actually operate a little better when there is some level of stress. Too much stress, on the other hand, causes our work to suffer and wears us down physically and mentally. Dealing with stress is an important part of time management
  10. All work and no play – Most successful people know how to balance work and play. When work takes over your life, you not only give your body little time to re-energize, but you may end up sacrificing the really important things in life like family and friends
  11. TIPS AND TOOLS FOR ELIMINATING TIME THIEVES • Using a Master Calendar • Using a To-Do List • Plan and Organize • Prioritize and put first things first • Estimate time for tasks • Get clear instructions and be focused • Avoid interruptions and idle-chit chat • Always keep additional time
  13. S = SPECIFIC • A specific goal has a greater chance of being accomplished. • When thinking of your goal, consider “who is involved,” “what you want to accomplish,” “when you want the goal accomplished,” “which requirements/restraints will provide obstacles,” and “why you want to accomplish the goal.”
  14. M = MEASURABLE • Establish a concrete means for measuring the progress towards your goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask the questions: “How much?” “How many,” and “How will I know when it is accomplished?”
  15. A = ATTAINABLE • Identify a goal that is most important because then you’ll adopt an attitude and plan proper to make sure it actually comes true. • Remember, reaching goals requires thoughtful consideration and planning. Make sure you picked a goal that you will actually take the steps you planned out!
  16. R = REALISTIC • A goal must be an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. Making sure the goal is realistic is up to you. • A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force.
  17. T = TANGIBLE • A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of your senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, or hearing). When your goal is tangible, you'll have a better chance of making it specific, measurable, and attainable.
  19. 1. Know How You Spend Your Time Keeping a time log is a helpful way to determine how you are using your time. Start by recording what you are doing for 15-minute intervals for a week or two. Evaluate the results. Ask if you did everything that was needed; determine which tasks require the most time; determine the time of day when you are most productive; and analyze where most of your time is devoted – job, family, personal, recreation, etc. Identifying your most time-consuming tasks and determining whether you are investing your time in the most important activities can help you to determine a course of action. In addition, having a good sense of the amount of time required for routine tasks can help you be more realistic in planning and estimating how much time is available for other activities
  20. 2. Set Priorities Managing your time effectively requires a distinction between what is important and what is urgent (MacKenzie, 1990). While activities that are both urgent and important must be done, Covey suggests that we spend less time on activities that are not important (regardless of their urgency) in order to gain time to focus on activities that are not urgent but important. Focusing on these important activities allows you to gain greater control over your time and possibly reduce the number of important tasks that do become urgent. One of the easiest ways to prioritize is to make a “to do” list. Whether you need a daily, weekly or monthly list depends on your lifestyle.. Keep in mind that your goal is not to mark off the most items; rather you want to mark off the highest priority items (MacKenzie, 1990). Having a prioritized “to do” list allows you to say “no” to activities that may be interesting or provide a sense of achievement but do not fit your basic priorities.
  21. 3. Use a Planning Tool Time management experts recommend using a personal planning tool to improve your productivity. Examples of personal planning tools include electronic planners, pocket diaries, calendars, computer programs, wall charts, index cards and notebooks. Writing down your tasks, schedules, and memory joggers can free your mind to focus on your priorities. Auditory learners may prefer to dictate their thoughts instead. The key is to find one planning tool that works for you and use that tool consistently.
  22. 4. Get Organized Most people find that disorganization results in poor time management. Professional organizers recommend that you first get rid of the clutter. With the clutter gone, the next step is to implement a system that allows you to handle information (e.g., tasks, papers, e- mail, etc.) less, only once, when possible.
  23. 5. Schedule Your Time Appropriately Using your time log, you should have determined those times during the day when you are most productive and alert. Plan your most challenging tasks for when you have the most energy. Block out time for your high priority activities first and protect that time from interruptions. Try to limit scheduled time to about 3/4ths of your day, leaving time for creative activities such as planning, dreaming, thinking, and reading.
  24. 6. Delegate: Get Help from Others Delegation means assigning responsibility for a task to someone else, freeing up some of your time for tasks that require your expertise. Delegation begins by identifying tasks that others can do and then selecting the appropriate person(s) to do them. You need to select someone with the appropriate skills, experience, interest, and authority needed to accomplish the task. Be as specific as possible in defining the task and your expectations, but allow the person some freedom to personalize the task. Occasionally check to determine how well the person is progressing and to provide any assistance, being careful not to take over the responsibility. Finally, don’t forget to reward the person for a job well done or make suggestions for improvements if needed. (Dodd and Sundheim, 2005)
  25. 7. Stop Procrastinating You may be putting off tasks for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the task seems overwhelming or unpleasant. Try breaking down the task into smaller segments that require less time commitment and result in specific, realistic deadlines. If you’re having trouble getting started, you may need to complete a preparatory task such as collecting materials or organizing your notes. Also, try building in a reward system as you complete each small segment of the task.